Multi-vehicle accidents are known by many different names including pile-up, chain reaction or simply a multi and are defined as a vehicular accident involving many vehicles. They most frequently occur on high-speed routes such as freeways, and they can be one of the deadliest types of car crashes. There are multiple-vehicle collisions that have involved hundreds of vehicles.
A chain reaction accident generally occurs in low-visibility conditions such as fog, snow, heavy rain, hail, etc. They can also occur when drivers encounter road hazards such as construction zones or unexpected stopped traffic around a curve or at the top of a hill.
Either because of bad weather conditions or just unexpected stopped traffic, multi-car accidents happen when one car stops and the cars behind it are unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, the cars begin to “pile-up”. Not only can several cars in one lane be involved but if cars swerve to avoid the collision they can also hit cars in adjacent lanes. The number of cars involved in the collision will depend on the amount of traffic, the speed the traffic is traveling and of course the reaction time and skill of the drivers on the highway.
The reason multiple-vehicle collisions can be highly fatal is because they occur on high-speed motor ways and the impact at these high speeds can cause severe damage to the vehicles involved, making it difficult for survivors to exit their vehicles. Even if survivors are able to get out of their cars, they can be struck by the moving traffic around them. Unfortunately, in this type of accident, vehicles are frequently hit more than once after the initial collision, which can cause the human body and neck to move in multiple directions and increase the severity of injury.
One of the most severe fog-related, multi-car accidents occurred in 2002 on Interstate 710 in Los Angeles County. Approximately, 200 vehicles were involved in the accident. Highway 99 south of Fresno, an area that has frequent seasonal tule fog in the fall and winter is a common site for chain reaction pile-ups.
Given the nature of this type of car crash, determining fault can be extremely difficult. The usual determination of fault going to the driver in the back, as is typical in a rear-end collisions does not apply in this type of situation. It is crucial to obtain a police report as each driver will have a different view on what occurred during the accident.
If you or a loved one has been in a multi-vehicle accident, Walton Law Firm can help. Our lawyers can assist you in reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance company to settle your claim or if required, we can represent you in a lawsuit. You are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, lost wages, pain, suffering and inconvenience.
We have successfully represented individuals and families who have been victims of all types of car accidents for more than 15 years. We would be happy to provide a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your accident. We will provide an honest appraisal of your case, and let you know if you even need a lawyer. Or, if you prefer, you can submit a confidential question online. You can reach us at (866) 607-1325 or locally in North San Diego County at (760) 571-5500.